As you enter the Amazon, it takes a while for it all to sink in, unable to appreciate where you are and the sheer size of the rainforest you are about to explore.
To well and truly do the Amazon justice, I feel you need to spend several days venturing around, and even then you will have nowhere near touched upon all it has to offer. However, due to limited time and a slightly tight budget, I was only able to appreciate it as part of a day trip, and on the faster boat service that runs from Manaus to Tabatinga (on the Colombian and Peruvian border, titled the triple frontier).
Although what I did experience in that single day was amazing. The day started with a boat trip to the famous meeting of the two rivers, where the Rio Negro and Amazon meet. Not only is the difference in colour rather striking, but also the noticeable change in temperature, as they come together to almost create a perfect straight line between the two.
Back on the boat, we then went to a floating village, where we got the opportunity to do a spot of fishing for Pirarucu. Whilst fishing we also had the ‘privilege’ of experiencing an Amazonian downpour, which made the showers we complain about in England almost laughable.
Our penultimate stop was probably the most memorable, as we travelled to see an indigenous community. As we arrived they presented some of their tribal rituals, using musical instruments and traditional dance. On the final presentation they then welcomed us up to dance alongside them. At which point I did feel extremely sorry for my partner, who had to drag a gringo around for five minutes, completely oblivious to what I was actually meant to be doing…! A thoroughly enjoyable experience, that despite the touristy feel, still managed to come across pleasantly unique and personal.
Finally, to top of what had been an extraordinary day, I went swimming with pink river dolphins. Who, despite their cute appearance, turned out to be very strong and slightly intimidating as they circled around your waist. Completely harmless though of course and a truly special moment.
All in all, this was unquestionably one of the best days I’ve experienced travelling. The amount of ground and activities we covered in that day, will provide many special memories for years to come.
A must add to anyone’s bucket list!